The move left Ong with a heavy heart, as he'd long grown fond of the ministry since his appointment in 2015, he shared in a Facebook post on Saturday (July 25).
One of his many predecessors had told him the MOE was a special place that would make one feel strongly about education, even after they have left, he wrote.
"I now know what he meant."
Attached to his post was a photo of a letter from a Primary 3 student — one of the many he has received over the years from various students — along with a handwritten response to the child.
His next post showed him in his now empty office, surrounded by boxes of his belongings.
Taking his place is Lawrence Wong, the former Minister of National Development and co-chair of the multi-ministry task force formed to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.
As for Ong, he will be succeeding Khaw Boon Wan, who retired prior to this year's General Election, at MOT.
Ong, who also took over Khaw's group representation constituency in Sembawang, had once commented that he had big shoes to fill.
"It's like, I'm a size 8. I think he might be a size 12."
Ong was elected into Parliament in 2015 and subsequently appointed as the Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills).
He was promoted to Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) in 2016 and helmed the ministry with Ng Chee Meng before becoming the sole Minister for Education in April 2018.
He is also part of the fourth-generation leadership team.